by Anne Brontë
originally published in 1847
ebook, 221 pages
narrated by Emilia Fox
Audible Studios, 2008
6 hours and 27 minutes
Summary (from goodreads):
At age 19 Anne Brontë left home and worked as a governess for a few years before becoming a writer. Agnes Grey was an 1847 novel based on her experience as a governess. Bronte depicts the precarious position of a governess and how that can affect a young woman. Agnes was the daughter of a minister whose family was in financial difficulty. She has only a few choices for employment. Agnes experiences the difficulty of reining in spoiled children and how wealth can corrupt morals.
Agnes Grey, the book I was dealt in the recent Classics Club spin, is a simple, straight-forward, and relatively short story based on the author's experience as a governess. Life as a governess was difficult for Agnes (Anne), whose family had recently fallen upon hard times. None of the women in this novel have a particularly easy time of it... a fact which made it easy for me to understand how Anne progressed from this story to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, a book many consider to be the first feminist novel.
Agnes Grey is slightly predictable (nowhere near as exciting as 'Tenant'), and Agnes herself comes across as somewhat preachy and self-righteous, however this was still an enjoyable read overall. It also has one of the best closing lines I've come across:
"And now I think I have said sufficient."A note on the audio:
Agnes Grey was a read/listen combination for me, and my first experience listening to Emilia Fox. Her accent is lovely, though initially I thought she spoke too quickly. However, I settled in before the end of the first chapter and ended up enjoying her narration very much.